Friday, June 29, 2007

That Old Familiar Feeling

I'm feeling patriotic again. This time I can add to the time of year and that Derek's in the Army that I also just finished reading Alma in the Book of Mormon. What a patriotic book! Full of defending the cause of freedom. So I thought I would just pay a little respect to one of the greatest Book of Mormon heroes: Moroni.

Alma 46:12
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
Alma 48:10-14; 17
10 And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.

11 And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
12 Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
13 Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.
14 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

What a great man. From here to the end of his life, he "labors without ceasing" to preserve the liberty and freedoms of a frequently ungrateful and unwilling people. He never tires, even though at times he must feel as if he is working for a lost cause: not only are they going against a formidable enemy, but he and the other leaders are dealing with treachery among their own people. If the Nephites were united, it might have been so much easier to bear the burden. How difficult; but how much greater the man because of the difficulties he was up against! In the face of so much opposition, he still stood strong and immovable, he was steadfast in his fight for liberty, for his family, his land and his right to worship God as he deemed right! What a worthy cause!

I would that all men could be like unto Moroni. But I'll do what I can: work to become something of a shadow of what he was.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Look What I Can Do!

Yeah, I just learned how to do this. It's pretty hot. If I had someone available to take a picture of me doing it, you'd have one. I guess I could have Avril do it. Not sure if I'd really be in the picture, but you might catch a toe or something...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sweet Land of Liberty...

What with Derek being in the Army and all, and the 4th of July nearly upon us, I decided to redesign my blog to be a little more patriotic. Welcome to the red, white & blue, my friends!

Me too, Emily!

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

For a Limited Time Only...

I've decided to bare myself to the world (figuratively speaking...) and allow public access to my faery blog. My latest pictures are up, along with two other slideshows. Just click on the post title, or find the link to the right. Enjoy!

Red Ethel Rackham

My pirate name is:

Red Ethel Rackham

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

I think I have the WORST luck EVER...

So my cousin came to hang out with my this weekend. Yes, she willingly left New York City in favor of coming to the 'Ville to hang out with yours truly. That's how much she likes me!

Now, we were pretty excited to hang out, we had a fantastic (ok, as fantastic as you can get in Kirksville) weekend planned: kayaking on Saturday, as well as Farmer's Market and the Java Co, some time spent updating her new iPod, catching up on Seinfeld and doing a LOT of cooking. Monday we were going to spend the day in KC, maybe stroll around the Plaza for a bit, check out the fountains and head to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

Here's what actually happened:
Her flight came in an hour late to KC. We left for K-ville at about 10pm after grabbing a surprisingly delicious meal at Hong's Buffet (Panera Bread had closed about 5 min before we got there of course). Almost as soon as we hit I-35, it started pouring. And when I say pouring, I mean I felt like I was driving under a waterfall. We don't have rain like that in Idaho. Sure, the snow, the blizzards, those get crazy. But rain...? I was going a daring 60, white knuckles gripping the steering wheel, all attempts to catch up on the new developments in our lives stunted by the tense expression on my face and the frenzied windshield wipers whisking the rain in a desperate attempt to maintain some minimal level of visibility. Needless to say, I was terrified.

We finally arrived at 2am; I was exhausted and had a pounding headache. Naturally, we hoped to sleep in in the morning, but my sweet daughters, who are morning people of the worst kind, showed up in my room bright and early at 7:15am. And it was still raining outside. We decided to go ahead and proceed with our plans, but the rain didn't lift. We settled for a quick run to the Farmer's Market and a nice, relaxing breakfast at the Java Co.

Upon our return home, we went about trying to re-arrange the day. We decided to watch a bit of Seinfeld, maybe grab a movie and make delicious dinners both Saturday and Sunday. Camas also still needed to update her iPod, so she went about attempting to get that started. And that's where I need to add in a tiny bit of history: we have two computers, an old one that we're basically waiting to kick and a brand, spanking new gorgeous one. Now, of course, 3 days after Derek left (about a week and a half ago) the new one went on the fritz. It finally just refused to boot. So we're down to the old one. When she went to update her iPod, it had to restart-- and it wouldn't boot either! So we're down to no computers, rainy day, glorious plans and no way to carry them out. Fortunately, we called our local computer miracle worker, Doug, who came over and spent his entire Saturday evening fixing not just one, but both my computers. For free. (Naturally, I made him an apple pie as a thank you. And I don't mess around when it comes to pie.)

So while we're waiting, we settled on two delicious meals for the weekend, both Rachel Ray. One included Chicken with and Israeli Spice Rub with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes. The other entailed something she called "You-Won't-Be-Single-For-Long Vodka Cream Pasta", which we served with tomato & basil bruschetta. So I ran to HyVee for what ingredients I needed (Aside: Even though I'm 23, this was the first time I've ever purchased anything I had to be carded to purchase. Wait... I think I got carded buying glue, once. Anyway, I felt so creepy walking out with my vodka in my brown paper bag. And it was kind of a rush. How silly is that?! I guess that's what happens when you're a Mormon buying alcohol! End of aside.) and we watched a little of The Office and some Seinfeld and just did the low-key hang-out thing.

We wound up eating at like 9:30 or something, but it was simply amazing. I'm thinking about it now, and my brain literally stopped processing anything else as I tried to wrap my mind around the memory of that dish!

Anyway, so Sunday was fairly uneventful... until after church. Avril fell asleep in the car, and apparently that five minutes was all she needed because she resisted napping for the rest of the day. All I wanted was my Sunday afternoon nap! Is that so much to ask?

So once I got the girls to bed, we decided to go ahead and make another late dinner (10:30 this time I think)... and the chicken and potatoes were also amazing. I went back for seconds... and then for thirds. I think I ate for all this next week this past weekend.

We still wanted to go kayaking, so we crammed our morning full: first thing, make apple pies. Next, Camas needed a trim, so to Josie's for that (thanks for squeezing her in!). Drop the kids off at Brenda's (thanks again Brenda!!!), stop at Pancake City for some delicious Georgia Peach and Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, pick up a gift card and head to Doug's to drop off pie and said gift card, rush to Thousand Hills for kayaks, kayak for a measly 30 minutes, rush back home, rinse off, pack bags, etc, etc, finally leaving at 12:30am. That's a jam-packed morning! Unfortunately, it was a little too jam-packed. Camas' flight left at 3:20. It's a three-hour drive... you do the math. So she missed her flight, we booked the next one which left at 6:45, stopped at Target (because of course I'd forgotten to stock my diaper bag with diapers), dinner at Chili's (their southwestern egg rolls are to die for! But I'm sure they're very fattening...) and then drop off at the airport at 5:50.

So between the rain, the extended driving, the broken down computers, the missed naps and the missed flights... was it worth it?


Sunday, June 17, 2007

My New Favorite Show

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Xandri's First Tooth!

That's right, folks, her first tooth just started to come in on Saturday! We're so very proud... I will post a picture as soon as it's big enough to see!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Derek's Very First Loaf of Bread

Yes, that's right. He did it all by himself. Isn't it gorgeous? Creative, at the very least...
It still tasted great. I love my helpful husband.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Finally... the before & afters!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend--- the Suburbs of Chicago!

So the week before Memorial Day Weekend was finals week. Of Derek's third quarter. The great thing about the third quarter of the first year is that there's a 7-week break between the third and fourth quarters. The awful thing about our first year is that Derek will be spending 6 of those weeks in Texas doing Officer Training with the Army. So it was only natural that we take a trip to one of our favorite suburbs to see some of our favorite friends, namely (but not limited to) the Borgs. (We stayed with them in their newly remodeled home--- it's beautiful, very tastefully done.)

So we left town Saturday morning, spent 6 1/2 hours driving to West Chicago and got there sometime around 3 or 4pm. We hung out with some old friends in the pest control office there, had some AMAZING beer-basted ribs (soooo tender) and watched.... what else?... Sports Center. Utah Jazz game (I think. I fell asleep, I was so tired from the trip.)The next day we relaxed in the morning, then went to Brookfield Zoo, noonish, of course the busiest time of the week. It was super fun, though, and Avril had a blast. We went through the Butterfly Pavilion, did the whole Dolphin Show thing, and checked out the Children's Zoo as well. It was pretty fun.Monday was spent doing some lovely shopping... A fresh mall! Who knew I would miss it so much?! It was nice to go shopping with Jodie, too. She's super mellow and just great to chill with. So after I bought myself some hot new clothes (3 pairs of pants, a t-shirt & a new hoodie), we stopped off at Target and I found the CUTEST pink vintage bike. I love it... $120 isn't so much, is it? Unfortunately, we had no way to get it home, so I'll have to keep watching for something else.

After that little foray to my two favorite places that I miss most in the 'Ville (the mall & Target), we met the boys at the pool at our old apartments for a nice little dip. Avril was a little water-shy at first, but once she got into it, she really got into it! Jumping off the edge into Daddy's arms, she'd yell out, "1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10... ok, children, on your mark, get set... GO!" Then she'd sort of shuffle toward the edge and leap into Derek's arms. Absolutely adorable.

Meanwhile, Xandri tried to maintain some level of sanity while her crazy parents tried to get her to dip her little toes into this horrible, cold water and Daddy kept dripping it on her head. She was holding on by a thread by the time we got out of there.
Tuesday we had a fabulous lunch at Bada Beef-- an absolute must if you spend any time in the area. Our friend Kyle is their customer of the week right now (and with good reason). The gyros there are to die for.

We left Tuesday night after a delicious dinner at On the Border with our friends Zack & Rebecca-- from Hawai'i. It was a great time catching up with old friends and even doing a little "rekindling" of old friendships. I'm so glad we spent that weekend enjoying ourselves with our friends. It'll be something to hold me over for a while as I begin a lonely 6 weeks here without Derek. It also makes me really grateful to have such great friends both there and here in K-ville.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Excuses, excuses...

See, the reason I keep giving myself for not blogging lately is that I love to blog with photos. But I don't like to upload photos to our old computer and Derek is such a computer hog! When I actually get him off the computer, I have little desire to hop right back on and not spend any time with him, so that, my friends, is my lame excuse. I'll go ahead and get over my fear of uploading to the old computer and get all y'all a decent blog tonight. Heaven knows I have a lot to talk about...